Friday, 22 August 2014

Yikes! It's a Kiwi Invasion

Thursday 21st August to Friday 22nd August 2014

We stayed put for Thursday - it was just so peaceful where we were and we were certainly in no rush to have to be anywhere, although Diane would like to get past the only real obstacles that stand ahead of us - that being locks, which are always a chance to have some sort of problem or other, but we weren't moving.

In fact we hardly even moved around or out of the boat - I got on with a lot of work that had suddenly come in and Diane just took it easy.

Diane did decide that we should investigate how easy/difficult it would be to move two cupboards in the kitchen so that access to a ding in the outside of the boat could be accessed for pushing out.
These things always start out as looking incredibly easy and by the end of it, it just seems like a tornado has swept through - well not quite. We did achieve the end objective - if only it will be possible that I will remember how it all goes back together in 3 months when I will need to attend to that task.

It wasn't until just before 6pm and there were noises like a troll with hob-nail boots on the roof that we stirred from our lethargic state.
Of course we should have realised it would have been Ray from nb Firefly - Diane had read the blogs that morning and they were heading our way, but with the distance being about what we do in about a week between us, Ray would whack it into warp speed and be here -which he was.
Moored just around the corner, Leonie had told him we would be there - how did she know? - she read our blog.

Arrangements were made to wander down later, after dinner and have a drink - he was saying that he had quickly moored up just on one rope, so he needed to fix that.
There was also another boat behind them with a couple from New Zealand - I was beginning to feel outnumbered, but you wouldn't tell a kiwi that!

We exited the boat and immediately in front was a boat called "New Auckland" with the stars from the NZ flag painted on the back - not another lot of them - although we had only seen the one lady on board from earlier in the day.
No. 1 - New Auckland

We reached Firefly, still moored up with the one rope - always glad to see that Ray wasn't rushing into anything.
Once aboard, we met Diana and John from nb Molly Rose - both Diane and I had seen them pass earlier in the day.
No.2 - Molly Rose

Fortunately for me the All Blacks had failed to beat the Wallabys in the last match so we needed to find other subjects to talk about. Without the usual delay in bringing the subject up, toilets quickly surfaced and was then forgotten about.
No.3 - Firefly
You'd have thought by this time we had been transported
to New Zealand and not just south of Northwich

There was a great deal of discussion about getting into and out of Manchester from all directions and any number of other topics - but mostly it was an enjoyable evening.
We might be on the other side of the world to home but kiwis and aussies will always have a good time when we get together.
John and Diana

Leonie and Ray 

After not too much drink it was time to head back; Ray decided then that it might be wise to add an additional rope and pin to the still solo one that had been there for the past 5 hours.

In the morning we had intended to head off early but we got talking to Grace from "New Auckland" - a lovely lady indeed (so we knew instantly she wasn't from NZ) - she was a local from Norwich, having brought the boat down solo, whilst her husband and his mate set to work to do some repairs on the mooring pontoon at the end of their garden.
She did have a great affinity with NZ having visited there a number of times.

Eventually we headed off and farewelled by our four antipodean friends and in some patchy sunlight we were off towards Middlewich.
Through Big Lock without any hassles, we found ourselves potentially third in line for water, so we quickly side-stepped that and onto the three locks in the flight up to Middlewich.
An aquaintance of ours - Bill on nb Duchess - was in front of us, single handing to Aqueduct Marina, so we helped him through the first couple and then set ourselves to commence.
Suddenly boats appeared at the top and we were in a pickle with one boat being caught in the last short pound - a boat above and a boat below so each lock movement was a juggle to position boats.
In all it took about an hour to get through these 3 locks and we still needed to top the water tank up which we managed to do at the junction - the only tap we have seen that uses a 1/2" connection instead of the usual 3/4" - luckily we found the right adaptor.

With tank filled, there was a qucik reverse and then into the lengthy Wardle Canal and we moored up just above.
We hadn't seen such young ducklings in quite a while

It wasn't until we had moored up at 12:15 that we realised that we hadn't eaten for the day - we left breakfast for when we would moor up, which we expected by 11am, so there was only one thing to do - off to lunch - our selected venue was The Big Lock at the place of the same name.
The Happy Friday drink shot

The meal was superb without being pretentious and we finished off with a dessert each - something to do with the lack of breakfast - needless to say we left no space for anything else.
Dessert time - both were delicious

On the way back we popped into a charity shop and bumped into Diana and John from last night - what a pleasant surprise.
They, like us, peruse the bargains available and we all made some purchases .
We left them outside Tesco and Diane with her infallible directions guided us back to the boat without any trouble.

I had a tunnel light to look at again and Diane had a bed to hold down - as well as an afternoon siesta for her.

5 Miles, 5 Locks

Totals: 2824 Miles, 2064 Locks, 97 Tunnels, 34 Lift Bridges, 151 Swing Bridges

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